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tv   ABC World News With Diane Sawyer  ABC  December 13, 2012 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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69-year-old mick jagger rocks the stage last night. and we ask him the secret of still being able to do this and this. good evening. we begin with breaking news. the woman who withstood ferocious fire from political opponents in washington today said enough. susan rice, the ambassador to the u.n., so embattled over the tragedy in benghazi, said she will not go through a bruising nomination fight to succeed hillary clinton as secretary of state. so, what happened behind closed doors? why now? and whom will the president pick to represent america on the world stage? abc's senior white house correspondent jake tapper has all the details right now. jake? >> reporter: good evening, diane. well, ambassador susan rice withdrew her name from
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consideration to be secretary of state after weeks of bruising political battles and a cacophony of criticism. in a letter to the president today, u.s. ambassador to the united nations susan rice wrote, "the position of secretary of state should never be politicized. i am saddened that we have reached this point even before you have decided whom to nominate." and she shared the news on nbc. >> i didn't want to see a confirmation process that was very prolonged, very politicized, very distracting and very disruptive, because there are so many things we need to get done as a country. >> reporter: just weeks ago, rice, a tough and smart rising star in the obama administration, was the president's top choice to serve as the next secretary of state. but she drew a lightning storm of republican criticism for repeating talking points from the intelligence community that seemed to critics to downplay
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the terrorist attack on the diplomatic compound in benghazi, libya. >> what this began as was a spontaneous -- >> the concerns i have are greater today than they were before and we're not even close to getting basic answers. >> it is clear that the information that she gave the american people was incorrect. >> reporter: the president, in a statement today, praised rice, who will stay at her u.n. post. and expressed regret for "the unfair and misleading attacks on her." abc news has learned that before her withdrawal, president obama had concluded that senator john kerry would be a better choice to be the nation's top diplomat. with kerry almost certain to be tapped, sources say former senator chuck hagel, a nebraska republican, seems to today have an edge to be the next defense secretary. and in what is being perceived as an expression of presidential support, president obama will tomorrow meet here at the white house with ambassador rice, diane. >> all right, i want to turn to another meeting, though, now, jake, because behind you tonight, behind those white house doors, the president met with speaker boehner about the fiscal cliff. what happened? >> reporter: it was described as
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a frank and candid exchange of views with house speaker john boehner coming here, invited by the president to talk about this impasse they seem to have reached, with boehner saying that the president hasn't agreed to enough spending cuts, president obama still pushing on increasing tax rates on the wealthiest americans. we do not have any news to suggest that any decision or agreement has been reached. but at least they're still talking, diane. >> two and a half weeks away. thank you so much, jake. and now, we go to syria. tinderbox tonight as even allies of the ruling regime are signaling the end may be near for president assad. and the powerful head of nato is also signaling change is coming. abc's senior foreign affairs correspondent martha raddatz on the end game and what danger it poses for the united states. >> reporter: it could all end soon here in damascus. with the startling word from nato and now even president assad's staunch ally russia,
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that the brutal dictator's days are numbered. that's because while assad is still in control in the capital, rebels are moving closer. now, just outside in the suburbs. our bbc colleague jeremy bowen saw it first hand, in a neighborhood where assad's forces have tried to stop the rebel advance, pounding the buildings and homes with air strikes and artillery. the battle is bloody. at the regime's military hospital, there are said to be 40 wounded, treated a day. while the rebels, like this fighter who lost both feet, received treatment from a dentist. their hospital, bombed. >> the rebels have shown that they have the stomach for a fight. they've shown that they can endure pain. and they have the conviction that if they don't fight on, they'll be killed. >> reporter: bowen met some 200 of their recruits, training at an army base they said they
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captured. >> what do you think will happen to assad? >> killed. must be killed. >> reporter: but who exactly are these rebels? the fighter says his group is not affiliated with al qaeda. but we know other rebels are including a wing of al qaeda that has attacked u.s. soldiers in iraq. and within the rebel ranks, there are dozens of competing groups with different, sometimes murky goals. >> we don't really have a good sense, to the extent that external organizations are in there and in some extremist form. the worry is both the retribution afterwards and the potential of access to chemical weapons. >> reporter: a threat to america and the world. and a threat to the people of syria, longing to be free of violence. officials i have spoken to fear this could be a long and bloody conflict, even if assad falls. although some still hold out
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hope that a political solution can be found, if assad finally realizes his days are numbered, diane. >> all right, on the story for us, martha raddatz. thank you, martha. and now, back here at home, as we know, 11 days until holiday travelers hit the road, and today, we learned this year could be the busiest in a long time. 1 in 4 of us, more than 93 million americans, expected to travel 50 miles or more. and a new report out today warns of holiday gridlock. abc's senior national correspondent jim avila tells us how to navigate around it. >> reporter: planes are full, and that means even higher prices for holiday travel. a new report from the airline trade group released today shows demand strong and planes flying at 85% to 90% capacity. non-stop ticket prices christmas week are nearly double what they were at the beginning of the month. and rising by the day. >> every day you wait for your virtual airline ticket, add about $7 or $8 for each day that you wait. >> reporter: the average
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domestic air fare is now $414 according to travelocity -- a 9% jump over last year's holiday season. the most expensive days to fly? up to $500 more a ticket are december 21st, 22nd and on the return, december 30th, 31st and new year's day. these are the cheaper days to fly -- christmas day and the three days after. flying then can save as much as $330. >> you're going to sacrifice price for convenience, but you'll also encounter fewer crowds at the airport. >> reporter: and it's not just air fares that are making this a profitable season for airlines. if you're checking bags, make sure they're not overweight by using a home scale. airlines charge excessive baggage surcharges that start at $90 on top of the now normal baggage fee. and the scales at the airport are not always accurate. >> it said 50 pounds when i first put it on.
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now it says 47. >> reporter: an abc news investigation last year at this time showed 5% of airport scales checked nationwide were off in one direction or another, by at least half an ounce -- enough to add costs. adding injury to the already insulting high holiday fares. jim avila, abc news, washington. and now, last night, there was an epic concert, a pantheon of rock legends gathering to raise money for those hardest hit by hurricane sandy. ♪ baby we were born to run ♪ baby we were born to run >> 2 billion people around the globe watched the cavalcade. $30 million raised in ticket sales. but those suffering from sandy were also promised a lot of help from the u.s. government, and that money is stalled, in congress. so, abc's david kerley decided to find out why. >> reporter: six weeks after
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sandy in long beach, new york, janet peters and her elderly mother are still dealing with this, wondering, who is helping? >> no one can tell you where that new money is slated for. no one seems to have answers. >> reporter: with the hospital still down, the water and sewer system not fixed, the city manager worries his local economy will tank. >> just crucial that we get these funds right away. every day that goes by that we're not actively repairing this critical infrastructure is a scary and a sad day for us. >> reporter: which is why three governors -- >> we're not going to allow any political forces in washington, d.c. to divide and conquer us. >> reporter: -- wrote in "the washington post" that congress can't leave before the holidays without approving help. pointing out that aid was approved just two weeks after katrina. in new jersey tonight, with 72,000 homes and businesses damaged or destroyed, the governor wants $5 billion to rebuild homes. $8 billion to rebuild businesses. but the sandy package, totaling $60 billion, is stuck in washington.
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republicans accusing the president of loading up the bill with millions not related to the storm. >> this is part of this process of they throwing in everything but the kitchen sink because they know congress can't turn down a request for sandy. >> reporter: examples? $2 million for smithsonian museum leaking roofs in washington, d.c. but museum officials admit they had a leak before the storm. $10 million to repair prisons, but one of them is in west virginia, which sandy barely touched. and $13 billion to protect against future storms. >> we don't want to rebuild a tunnel so that the same storm water can flood in. we want to build it better so there's more protection. >> reporter: while they argue, janet peters wonders who is going to help. david kerley, abc news, washington. and for all of us watching television tonight, something is different. a new law took effect today, lowering the volume of those loudest commercials. let's show you. let's say a tv program is about
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the sound of this. it's the regular noise in a restaurant. but then, suddenly, a garbage disposal, 20 decibels louder. well, that's about the jarring spike in noise commercials have been delivering. some of them. but as of tonight, those ads are supposed to be about the same level as the show you are watching. so, check it out. and still ahead on "world news," the popular reality show accused of faking some big money moments. >> whoa! >> why some of tv's top shows are facing tough questions tonight. it's the little things in life that make me smile. spending the day with my niece. i don't use super poligrip for hold because my dentures fit well. before those little pieces would get in between
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to unblock your system naturally. don't wait to feel great. miralax. to the best vacation sp(all) the gulf! it doesn't matter which of our great states folks visit. mississippi, alabama, louisiana or florida, they're gonna love it. shaul, your alabama hospitality is incredible. thanks, karen. love your mississippi outdoors. i vote for your florida beaches, dawn. bill, this louisiana seafood is delicious. we're having such a great year on the gulf, we've decided to put aside our rivalry. now is the perfect time to visit anyone of our states. the beaches and waters couldn't be more beautiful. take a boat ride, go fishing or just lay in the sun. we've got coastline to explore and wildlife to photograph. and there's world class dining with our world famous seafood. so for a great vacation this year, come to the gulf. its all fabulous but i give florida the edge. right after mississippi. you mean alabama. say louisiana or there's no dessert.
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this invitation is brought to you by bp and all of us who call the gulf home. but they haven't experienced extra strength bayer advanced aspirin. in fact, in a recent survey, 95% of people who tried it agreed that it relieved their headache fast. visit today for a special trial offer. tonight, we learned that the 4 million people who watch one of the most popular reality shows on television might be getting fooled. the show is "storage wars," where people bid on supposedly secret contents of abandoned lockers. but now, a former star says the show is not as it seems and we wondered if other shows could be fooling everyone, too. abc's dan harris reads the fine print. >> reporter: in "storage wars," people bid on auctions of abandoned storage lockers with dreams of finding valuable items they can then re-sell. but now, a star storage warrior,
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david hester, known on the show as "the mogul" has filed a lawsuit alleging a&e, which airs the show, "has committed a fraud on the public." hester says the producers "regularly salt or plant the storage lockers with valuable or unusual items to create drama and suspense." he points to specific examples such as this car, found under a pile of trash. >> whoa! >> it's a bmw. >> reporter: a&e, which is half-owned by disney, the parent company of abc, told us today they will not comment on pending lawsuits. but one of the show's producers did say this recently. >> i can honestly tell you that the stuff found in those containers are found in storage containers. >> reporter: although he did admit they sometime move items from one storage locker to another. this is not the first time the level of reality in reality tv has been questioned. recently, a former participant on hgtv's "house hunters," which follows families choosing a new home, said producers knew she and her husband had already
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purchased their new home before they taped the show in 2006. >> it felt like we just had a few days to scrounge up some houses to look at, and it was our responsibility to find the houses. >> reporter: in a statement, hgtv said, "we aren't showing a documentary, we're simply entertaining our viewers." back in the 1950s, contestants on some popular quiz shows were secretly given the answers. congress held hearings and made made doing that illegal. no one alleges that level of fixing on the today's reality shows and experts we spoke to don't think the producers of "storage wars" are in criminal trouble. >> i don't see this as a contest with a prize. >> reporter: but there is still the court of public opinion. if enough people believe the mogul is telling the truth, the audience could hunt elsewhere for its vicarious thrills. dan harris, abc news, new york. and, coming up here, a visit to santa's lap that is rocketing around the world. we have the story behind this picture. it's our "instant index," next.
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of washington about the future of medicare and social security. anncr: but you deserve straight talk about the options on the... table and what they mean for you and your family. ancr: aarp is cutting through all the political spin. because for our 37 million members, only one word counts. get the facts at let's keep medicare... and social security strong for generations to come.
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and our "instant index" tonight starts with something for everyone dreaming of a white christmas. take a look at the map. the nation's top scientists looked at 20 years of data and estimate the state by state chance of a white christmas. and if you live in any of the areas that are snow white on the map, you have a good chance of at least one inch of snow on december 25th. for instance, augusta, maine, up
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there in the right hand corner, has a 90% chance of a christmas snow. those of us who live in the south should start lowering expectations. and, this picture is a kind of christmas postcard rocketing through our inboxes today. did you see it? it's a fully human variation on those old department store portraits of santa. a baby fell asleep waiting for his turn for santa's lap at a mall in boise, idaho. so, santa improvised, pretending to nod off, too. the crowd erupted in cheers and a new christmas classic was born. and, our person in the news is someone who has influenced your life. can you guess what norman woodland did for you? well, he was the engineer who invented the bar code. he did it when he heard a grocer complain that the checkout line should be automated. they'll be faster. so, he turned the morse code he learned as a boy scout into something new. and invented the patterns that identify products.
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5 billion bar codes are scanned by computer every day. woodland died of alzheimer's at the age of 91. and, don't forget, we want to know what you think, so, tweet me your thoughts for "instant index," @dianesawyer, every day. and a program note. we told you in a previous index that the two stars of "grease" were getting together again? well, get ready. ♪ you're the one that i want >> who can forget that dance? well, tomorrow night, travolta, newton john, showing us how they did it. john that volume that, olivia newton john singing for the holidays, and they'll be our "person of the week" tomorrow night. and, speaking of someone with moves, did you see him last night? 69-year-old mick jagger, the energy of a teenager? we ask him the secret, next. let's give thanks -
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for an idea. a grand idea called america. the idea that if you work hard, if you have a dream, if you work with your neighbors... you can do most anything. this led to other ideas like liberty and rock 'n' roll. to free markets, free enterprise, and free refills. it put a man on the moon and a phone in your pocket. our country's gone through a lot over the centuries and a half. but this idea isn't fragile. when times get tough, it rallies us as one. every day, more people believe in the american idea and when they do, the dream comes true. we're grateful to be a part of it. and you see the woman you fell in love with. she's everything to you. but your erectile dysfunction -
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we've been there. that's why every bit of financial advice we offer is geared specifically to current and former military members and their families. [ laughs ] dad! dad! [ applause ] ♪ [ male announcer ] life brings obstacles. usaa brings advice. call or visit us online. we're ready to help. ♪ all right ♪ jump jack flash ♪ is a gas, gas, gas and finally, from here, we mentioned earlier, there was that big concert for hurricane sandy victims last night.
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but the talk all day was about mick jagger, almost 70, with the energy of a 30-year-old. so, we wanted to know his secret, and abc's bill weir spoke with the rolling stone. ♪ >> reporter: you've heard of dog years? well, this is what age 69 looks like in stones years. ♪ jumping jack flash ♪ is a gas, gas, gas >> reporter: and before you dismiss mick jagger's energy at last night's sandy benefit as a two-song fluke -- ♪ hey, you >> reporter: know that in recent weeks he has been ripping up the stage like this for two and a half hours a night. how do you do it? i was sore the next day from watching. how do you do it? >> it's what i do, really. ♪ take a drive downtown >> reporter: people are willing to pay, you know, $500, $600 for a seat, just think what they would pay for mick jagger elixir, your fitness regimen.
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>> i don't really have much of a fitness regimen, to be honest. i mean, i do have one -- >> reporter: yes, a band with an average age older than the supreme court rehearsed eight grueling weeks to play just five shows, a work ethic that somehow survived all those years and miles, women and drugs. keith richards still enjoys a drink or three, but ronnie wood has been sober for years now and admits this tour is a real test of willpower. >> we hit them with clarity and focus now. before, it was eyes down and meet you at the end, you know? and like, "oh, no. how am i going to get out of this?" a little bit of that still goes on. >> reporter: so, despite the struggles for sobriety and band harmony, they've discovered their real secret is simply doing what they love. retirement would be a death sentence. and there's no better fountain of youth than an arena full of adoration. >> people say, "well, why are you still together?" and i say, "well, it -- because people like us." of course, we love playing.
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but you have to have both of the part of the equation. >> reporter: so, for those inclined to order saturday's pay per view finale with bruce sprin springsteen and lady gaga, thinking this could be the last time, keep in mind the tour is called "50 and counting." bill weir, abc news, new york. >> and you can see more of bill weir, talking to mick jagger tonight on "nightline." and thank you for watching. and now, we're going to leave you with a true wonderland in motion, in kansas city, missouri, where i love arthur brand's barbecue, by the way. and thanks to our affiliate kmbc tv, bringing us the plaza lights glowing downtown. beautiful sight. good night to everybody in kansas city. good night.
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>> a warehouse fire that forced neighbors to evacuate. >> a developmental disabled -- the concerns of worried families. >> a story you'll see only on abc 7 news. a family reaches a settlement over a tragedy in their bay area home. >> scandal, rehab and reconciliation for troubled ex lovers serving texts from sky 7hd, you can see the extent of the damage from a fire that ate its way through. nearby workers had to be evacuated, but the good news, at least, no one was hurt. good evening. i'm dan ashley. >> i'm carolyn johnson that. fire began around 1:30 with thick dark smoke choking the area, not far from interstate 680 in fremont.
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now more from the scene where firefighters are still mopping up tonight. >> reporter: nobody is going home tonight. firefighters are still cleaning up. i have to say, it was a difficult fire because there was so much heavy smoke and a lot of flames and they couldn't get inside that building. so they had to attack it or hit it from above. now, the roof eventually collapsed. fortunately the 60 or so employees inside that building had already been evacuated. i tell you, there was a lot of flammable stuff inside. >> you could see that there is a plaque card on the corner of the building identifying there are hazardous materials inside. so it just made it that much more toxic. >> reporter: and it's there to let them know there are imussible and flammable -- come buzzible and flammable materials inside. you are see the inside of the building completely open because


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